Crystal Pruitt Chosen As Newest Township Council Member

She fills one-year unexpired term of Shanel Robinson, who is now a Somerset County Freeholder.

State Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, right, administers the Oath of Office to Crystal Pruitt, second from right, the newest Township Council member.

Township Democrats tapped some home-grown talent in picking the newest member of the Township Council on Jan. 22.

Township native Crystal Pruitt was unanimously picked by the council to fill in the one-year unexpired term of former Councilwoman Shanel Robinson.

Robinson, who held an At-Large seat, is now a Somerset County Freeholder, having won that position in November’s election.

In the event a sitting Council member leaves office before their term is up, the party to which that member belongs has the right to pick three candidates and present them to the Council. The Council then picks one from that group.

Besides Pruitt, the candidates presented to the Council were Board of Education member Ed Potosnak and Edna Arguello Hitchner, a member of the township’s Human Relations Commission.

The three were picked out of more than a dozen candidates who submitted their names for consideration.

Pruitt is currently Chief of Staff for state Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16). Prior to that, she was a legislative liaison for the state Department of Human Services and served as director of constituent relations and community outreach for Zwicker, among other jobs and volunteer positions.

Pruitt holds a B.S. in criminology from North Carolina State University and Masters of Arts in forensic psychology and forensic mental health counseling from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Pruitt, surrounded by members of her family, was sworn in to her Council seat by Zwicker, who said he felt “very honored” to work with her.

“I want to wish her nothing but the best of luck with the council,” he said. “Thank you for your wisdom here, I think Miss Pruitt will make a really wonderful addition to the council, and I very much look forward to seeing what she and all you do together for the residents of Franklin in 2019 and beyond.”

Pruitt said she wanted to be on the Council because she realized that she “wanted an opportunity to serve the place where I grew up.”

“I’m born and raised in Franklin Township, I went to the public schools here, I graduated from the old high school,” she said. “I wanted to give back to the place that outside of my family I can credit with the type of person I am now”

“I really love this township, and this to me is about service,” she said. “It’s about serving the residents, it’s about making sure that everyone in the community can feel like they have a voice and they have a home here. And that’s what I’m going to fight for every day that I am on this council.”

Pruitt said that during the next year, “I’m going to take this unexpired term to work really hard to prove that I deserve to be here, and that I’m here to serve. This is not a matter of ego, this is a matter of service.”

“I’m also excited to encourage other young people, especially women and women of color to find their place in politics because I think it’s going to be really important, and the country can use some help,” she said. “And I think we can do that.”

“I look forward to working with the council, I know that we’re not always going to get along, but as long as we are working for the betterment of Franklin Township, that’s all that matters,” she said.


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